If you have been served with divorce papers, you have thirty (30) days to respond. The same time period applies if the service happens by publication. That is, if the family court allows service to be published because of the inability to proceed with service in person, then the responding party has thirty (30) days to respond. (In the case of publication, the 30 days starts running on the date of the last of three publications.)
What is most important during that thirty-day period is to be in contact with the petitioning party or their attorney. Whether or not the responding party serves an answer within that period, or has an attorney make the first contact with the petitioning party, the petitioning party/attorney needs to know that the responding party is not needlessly delaying the process. Consequences for missing the 30-day deadline may include monetary sanctions, including the responding party reimbursing the petitioning party for fees and costs pertaining to needless delay.